Published in the Rains County Leader on December 8, 2020:
David and I have been in COVID jail since the Saturday after Thanksgiving when I realized I couldn’t smell anything. I didn’t have any other symptoms, but I tested positive, so we were advised to quarantine for ten days. At first, I was thankful that David had found a new WiFi provider and we were once again able to watch TV, but after a while, I wasn’t so sure.
We caught up on videos of several YouTubers we follow, and we watched the Madalorian episodes we had missed, but after that the viewing choices were pretty grim. The results of the presidential election seemed to be the main focus of every broadcast, and from the reports and forecasts I heard, no one is going to be happy regardless of the eventual outcome. Let’s just say it wasn’t the kind of programming that gives the viewer a warm and fuzzy Christmas feeling.
But Sunday morning after we attended church electronically, I flipped over to Facebook to see what was going on. Some people find Facebook to be a quarrelsome place filled with conflict and controversy, but by being very selective about which posts I click on, I usually find it to be a positive experience. Sunday was a great example.
One of my favorite pages to visit is Heather Rollin’s Community News page. In the “About” section, she
describes it this way: “Just a side gig to help keep the citizens of Emory informed about community events.” She posts relevant community news like water shutoffs or road closings, upcoming events and cancellations, and the latest COVID stats for Rains County. She also allows local businesses to promote themselves – with a limit of one post per day. There are posts of pets that have been lost and/or found and lots of other feel-good posts. The post I saw Sunday was one that put a smile on my face and gave me hope that the true spirit of Christmas is still alive and well in Emory in spite of everything that’s going on in the world at large.
Christina Ellis’ post was made on Thursday, but I missed it until a new comment brought it back to the top of the page. This is what she wrote:
What is one thing you cannot afford but NEED right now?
Let’s see what others say… maybe you have something that you no longer need and are able to pass it on.
I saw this on another group page and it was amazing to see the generosity and kindness among one another… especially this time of year.
Maybe we can all help each other.
This is a giving post… no selling please. Please let’s keep it friendly and respectful.
Apparently I wasn’t the only one who liked the post. At that point it had received 42 “likes,” 148 comments, and had been shared to other pages nine times. And people had immediately gotten into the spirit of the post. Here are just a few samples.
- Katy was looking for a king-sized mattress and box springs because theirs had developed what she described as a sink hole. Three people had offered one or both pieces, and she was working out the logistics of getting the new bed to her home.
- Amber needed scrubs, and two people responded that they had scrubs in the needed size.
- Jason needed chain link fence, and someone had a small roll he could have.
- Several people asked for prayer for personal freedom, healing, peace and good health, and a cure for early-onset Alzheimer’s among other things.
- Lisha needed a couch and someone had one she could have.
- People inquired about and received offers of hoodies, a jacket, a dryer, wall hangings, a heater, a bed frame, and Christmas decorations.
The interaction was relaxed, comfortable, and filled with the Christmas spirit I was so afraid would be missing this year. It seems that, indeed, Rains County is a place where people care for the least of these and love their neighbors as themselves.